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Shotgun Software Keeps Blur Projects on Track


LR-jeffbeeland-blurShotgun Software announced that Blur Studio has standardized on Shotgun for production management and tracking. Shotgun is a production management and review program for the visual effects, game development and animation industries. Blur, a company working in feature films, commercials, game cinematics and trailers, adopted Shotgun to replace its in-house production management software.

““Pipeline and infrastructure software may not be the sexiest application you’’ll find in a VFX and animation studio, but it’’s certainly one of the most crucial to producing great work,”” said Tim Miller, co-founder of Blur. ““The less time our artists and producers spend managing, the more time we can spend creating. As projects get more complicated and schedules get more challenging it’s critical to have tools to efficiently manage the huge amounts of detailed data needed to get the job done.””

Prior to integrating Shotgun into its pipeline, Blur had two full-time developers working on a proprietary toolset called “Trax” for production management. The developers were allocating a majority of their time to updating the toolset – time and resources that would have been better spent on building artist’s tools that give studios like Blur a competitive advantage. As project volume increased and the studio expanded, moving into a new facility, Blur’’s production management needs were no longer efficiently supported in-house.

Once the decision was made to standardize on Shotgun, Blur connected the Shotgun database to its pipeline and in-house database. Both feature a lightweight Python API, allowing Shotgun to link effortlessly with internal systems along with core artist applications including Autodesk 3ds Max. Now fully integrated into their daily operations, Shotgun powers production management for an average user base of 85 artists across Blur’s projects, which most recently included Thor: The Dark World and promotional trailers for The Elder Scrolls. Using Shotgun’’s web-based interface, producers, coordinators and artists at all levels can add and link data to the database for easy access.

Prior to integrating Shotgun, new artists and freelancers, brought on for short-schedule projects, had to invest time into learning Trax, which was complicated for new users. With the integration of Shotgun, Blur is able to customize their internal engines and applications while maintaining Shotgun’’s consistent web and user interface, allowing freelance artists immediate use without training. The web interface has proven to be another advantage for Blur, allowing their producers and coordinators to add data via a browser that links to Shotgun.

In the future, Blur plans on further integrating Shotgun into its daily operations to track budgets and artists’ time sheets. ““We’’ve come a long way in a short time with Shotgun,”” said Jeff Beeland, pipeline supervisor, Blur.

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